Thursday, 24 March 2011

What have we been up to?

It has been two weeks since my last post to this blog and we have been busy bunnies that to say the least.

This week after a long hiatus [October], our circle journal swaps started back up again, and L received two journals in the post. The swaps got out of sync and so she got two at a time.

We looked at the other people and one family got three at a the same time! Oh my! They don't take very long to complete when you get into it.

I think I heard someone say, "What is a circle journal?" A circle journal is a book that is done in a group.

You can have as many or as few participants in your group as you like. The way it works is that each person in the group starts a book, hereafter known as a circle journal, or CJ for short, they choose the theme and what the CJ is to be about. Each person does a two page entry in each CJ.

Once they complete their entry, they send it on to the next person in the group list and so on. In our particular group at large, the theme of everyone's journal was 'Nature' and then each participant chose their own theme within the theme at large. Last year when we started, we were studying Garden Flowers and Weeds and so that is what we did. We have learned about Wolves, horses, birds of prey, what an amazing photographer Q is and so on. Q takes photos and puts his own photos in everyone's journals. He is younger than L and his photos are absolutely gorgeous and I told him so once when I saw him. He might blush though reading it here :-)

M's circle completed in October but we didn't get her journal back until February. The reason it is called a circle journal is because it goes around the "circle" until it comes back to you and you get your original one back.

L is two journals away from getting hers back! We are looking forward to that, well, actually if the swaps had gone on in sync, we would be three swaps away, she has two more journals to work in.

This week L got a surprise in the mail. It was a letter from someone who wanted to be a pen pal with her! She was "chuffed" (very pleased) to say the least. She thought I knew who it was from and suspected me of total involvement. I must confess that I did sign up for a pen pal group and put our details on the group but I didn't co-ordinate anything more than that. This young lady took it upon herself to write to L.

I had bought some stationery because I am in a swapping group and I signed up for a stationery swap with another Mum in the group and so I bought two packs, thinking that L would want one (she usually likes what I buy for others) and then I gave her the second pack and again she sat down and wrote a letter to this young lady.

She has two more letters to write to two other girls and those ones I did arrange with their mothers, one in that group and another one from a Yahoo group I belong to. These groups are all for home educators or home schoolers.

This week is also a wrapping up week for two of our Flat Travellers and their blog is here if you are interested. There were some glitches with two of our travellers and so their families and I have made arrangements to keep them on for another month. One didn't arrive until last week and ours has still not arrived over there in Ohio. :-(

I emailed all the papers that I had sent with the Flat Traveller (Ginger) and then we made another one called Gingie and scanned her and sent her by email as well.

Last Friday the girls and I took our Flat Travelling companions to the Hat Museum in town and had a blast! We had a tea party with Alice and the Mad Hatter. The Museum had even set up little 'bunny bags' which are activity bags around the displays for children. There was a bunny bag at Alice's table and you guessed it, it was a tea set :-) We all had a tea party with Alice (which was our whole reason for going to the museum) and the Flat Travellers did too.

I won't print the photos off because my printer takes ages to print but I will email all the photos to the families and that way they can have digital copies to do with them what they like.

I've become Facebook friends with the Moms and so I may just upload the photos to an album for them there or use My Photo which is also a great way to send photos to people.

We have also been taking advantage this week of the gorgeous weather and of course this week was swimming and M did me proud yesterday....she swam the entire length of the pool all by herself. Two weeks ago, which is the last time we went swimming, she wouldn't let go of me because it was too overwhelming. Yesterday she swam full lengths of the pool with her water wings on. I am so pleased that she enjoyed herself swimming and so proud of this moment that she learned she could do something independently. Some children respond well to being shoved into the water and then just start swimming but M doesn't. If I had just shoved her into the pool I would have succeeded only in making her afraid of the water and that would have ruined all swimming fun for her.

This is another confirmation to me that teaching her at home is best for her because I can adapt myself to her needs rather than expecting her to adapt to the group at large. She would not thrive in that sort of environment. When it comes to reading and Math she is doing things that children older than her in school are doing and then other things she is doing what is considered the norm for her age bracket. I tailor things to both girls' abilities. I challenge them where they can be challenged and if they need something a bit lighter in the challenge department, I do that for them as well.

We do love to learn together because I am getting my second and third education with my girls. I am learning how little people actually learn because when L was five she was going to school so I missed out on this because she didn't want to do stuff at home when she was younger and with M she is the opposite and loves doing 'lessons'.

I'm also doing things with L that are so different that I also am getting an education right alongside her. We are reading Shakespeare, Orwell, Kipling and other authors together that I didn't read. I studied French literature so I didn't do a lot of English literature so now I'm reading in my first language :-)

Today is another day of a different type and we are busy busy busy today. The Vicar is coming over today for a chat and lunch and then we have been invited to go and visit someone oh and I have work to fit in too.

I do like the fact that I can fit my work in around my children, rather than fitting my children in around my work.

Have a wonderful day everybody!